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UBS orders employees not to go to France

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Swiss bank UBS Getty Images/Altrendo

Swiss bank UBS has banned several of its employees from going to France on pain of being fired. It fears the workers in UBS's wealth management sector could be questioned in a French tax-evasion inquiry.


The ban concerns several dozen people, according to Swiss Radio Television (RTS), which broke the story.

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The Geneva-based bank refused to comment on the grounds that "a legal case is currently underway in France", RTS said.

UBS faces charges of illegally soliciting customers in France.

Ahead of the Easter long weekend, UBS summoned the relevant employees and ordered them not go to France until the case has been judged, according to RTS.

They were not even to go shopping on the French side of the border, which is right next to Geneva, the radio said, and an employee who infringes the restriction could be fired.

Late January Le Parisien newspaper revealed, in an interview with an anonymous UBS advisor, how UBS illegally recruited customers who wanted to dodge paying taxes in France.

"I contacted my customers through information given by some UBS colleagues in Paris," he told to Le Parisien.

"Sometimes the customer took the risk of bringing his money to Switzerland himself, in cash or gold bars. But more often UBS advisors acted as mules, transporting the money across the Alps. Some of them took to the ski slopes with a backpack. I myself used the services of a smuggler."